The tale of the kitchen that didn't fit

How moving and removing walls made all the difference in this Ham Lake kitchen remodel

Project Summary 

Every now and then you run across a home design that doesn't quite work in some way. In this case, it was a kitchen that was too small and segmented for the size of the home and the usage needed for decent functionality. Let's face it, when you've got four kids and a bunch of grandkids with a seemingly endless desire to bake and eat cookies, you need a working kitchen with adequate space; you need to get to the mixer without breaking your neck!

BEFORE: Elevated view of kitchen separating the kitchen from the formal living room on the right.
AFTER kitchen remodel showing full working island and new clear alder cabinets. Cherry flooring was extended into the dining area and "feathered" in to the existing floors.


BEFORE kitchen remodel view towards dining room.
BEFORE kitchen remodel view of peninsula and location of kitchen dining table.
BEFORE kitchen remodel view towards dining room.
EXISTING kitchen layout before the remodel
PROPOSED kitchen layout showing wall to be moved and wall to be removed entirely to open up the kitchen


The simplest solution was to remove one wall separating the kitchen from the dining room. We moved an adjacent living room wall out a foot or so to allow for traffic flow. This also allowed for new cabinets, pantry and dual ovens.

"Sometimes rethinking the space to maximize for utility also brings with it an opportunity for more beauty and light," remarks Murphy Bros. Design/Build Consultant of more than 15 years, Jonah Smith. "So that's what we did here. By making a 14-inch move on one wall and complete removal of another, we were able to solve multiple space issues. They now have more storage that's easy to get to, double the work surface area, a highly functional pantry and upgraded appliances."

Smith explains, "We reduced in size one window to accommodate the lower cabinets and also to block the view of the deck while retaining the view of the natural landscape beyond."

AFTER remodel elevated view of kitchen. Note the two different tone finishes on the island and perimeter cabinets.

We selected tier-3 Granite for the table island, perimeter countertops, and the custom island. Everything you see here stores something. We matched all the trim to the basement millwork, which was the last project we did for them in 2016. That project won a CotY award.

AFTER kitchen remodel view of new functional table used mostly at breakfast.
AFTER remodel showing perimeter cabinets and cook top and new island table large enough to seat 7 with storage.
AFTER kitchen remodel view of new pantry. Door to left of pantry is a broom closet, drawers underneath are for dry storage.
AFTER kitchen remodel shows wall reveal (right side of image) has been moved back 14 inches to accommodate new cabinets and appliances.
AFTER kitchen remodel view of cooktop and surrounding upper cabinets.
AFTER remodel shows spice drawer just to right of cooktop—alphabetized of course.
AFTER kitchen remodel custom plate organizer.
AFTER kitchen remodel shows storage capacity. Upper glass cabinets have a subtle back-light.
We also added a new entry door for additional curb appeal. Left: custom closet doors in clear Alder, made by our own in-house cabinet maker.

Featured Materials


  • Refrigerator — Bosch 36" Counter depth 4-door refrigerator
  • Cooktop — Samsung 30" Gas Cooktop NA30N7755TS


  • Cabinetry — Custom Cabinets; 1/2" Overlay Design, Clear alder w/Wht. Mel. Int., Shaker-style with custom profile
  • Main Island — 9.4 ft. Island Base-24 3/4" Deep, double entry
  • Cabinet Glass Panels  Artique


  • Perimeter — Granite Countertops - Snowflake, 3/8”, round profile
  • Island — Granite Countertops - Snowflake, 3/8”, round profile
  • Kitchen table Island — Paricema White


  • Alder


  • Sink — Kohler Prolific 33" workstation Single Basin Steel Undermount Sink
  • Faucet — Delta Trinsic Touch Faucet in Champagne Bronze
  • Pot Filler — Delta Boderick wall mount pot filler in champagne bronze


  • Marvin Ultimate, Bahama Brown Clad Exterior, Bare Pine Interior


  • Entry Door — Therma Tru, Classic Draft Fir Grain Fiberglass
  • Entry Door Glass — Simulated Divided lite, Low-e (Ogee 1 5/8" SOL)
  • Bi-fold closet door  Clear alder


  • Some type of flooring goes here.


  • Main Backsplash —Metallic Nickel mosaic and Mayorka 2x8 white
  • Cooktop Accent Backsplash — Metallic Nickel mosaic & Myorka 4x4 White


  • Wall — Snowbound SW7004
  • Shoe & base trim — Anew Gray SW7030

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